Jury to hear case of woman shackled during labor - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Jury to hear case of woman shackled during labor

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A controversial Nashville court case is headed back to the courtroom, this time with a jury.

A federal appeals court ruled Monday the case of Juana Villegas should be retried. Villegas was an undocumented immigrant pulled over for a traffic stop in 2008.

She was detained because of her immigration status, and two days later, authorities shackled her wrists and ankles as she took an ambulance ride to a hospital to give birth.

Villegas remained shackled as she gave birth, and the charges against her were later dropped.

Villegas sued the Davidson County Sheriff's Department, and in 2011 a U.S. district judge ruled the sheriff's office was "deliberately indifferent" to Villegas when she was shackled during labor and denied a breast pump after being released from the hospital.

The judge also ruled the mother's constitutional rights were violated.

Now, a federal appeals court has said that since the facts in the case are disputed, a judge alone cannot rule, and it must go to a jury trial.

In a statement, Sheriff Daron Hall said his department is pleased with the ruling, and he stands by his belief that his officers followed accepted correctional practices.

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